Sorry about the quiet month of blogging, my new job is going fantastically well, I’m really enjoying it and there is a lot to learn, so it’s taking up most of my non riding time.
But it’s about time I reviewed my Travers Angus 29er+ (Rudy Fat) as I’ve had it 18 months now.
It all started around March 2014 when I was getting ready to go north to Coastkid’s Fat Forth annual ride, I knew there would be 2 or 3 of the all new Surly Krampus 29er+’s there and I have a few rides on them, they were good, but heavy.
At the ride Tyler from Surly was over and while talking about bike packing with a Krampus, he told me to wait as they had something in the pipeline, this turned out some months later to be the Surly ECR, perfect for what I wanted, but still steel and heavy.
About this time I got talking to Michael Travers about his Rudy Fat titanium 29er+ and his upcoming Angus (the same bike but with an EBB for running a Rolhoff geared hub)
Then he mentioned that he was working on a prototype with a belt drive and would I like to help him, I was hooked. Several months of emails, designs and ideas went back and forth before the bike was off the drawing boards and in the hands of Michael’s frame builders.
Wanting a long distance fire/gravel road type bike that offered much more comfort and floatation than any cyclo cross type tourer could offer was just what I was after.
When it arrived in March 2014 it was perfect, even though the belt drive had to be kept quiet while testing (hard to me to keep quiet I know but I did manage it), for 650 miles we rode together with only a couple of belt drive slippage issues. That was until July and 2 days before Charlie the Bikemongers Dorset Gravel Dash, on a reccie ride I rode through some deep clay type mud and the belt got caked in the stuff, so much so I had to drag the bike with locked up wheels outs of it and on the next dry gravel road I found a stick and cleared it all out of the way. I threw my leg over the bike on a slightly downward slope and SNAP, the belt simply snapped in half with no real force at all.
This gave me a 7 mile walk and then a hitch hiked 10 mile ride from a great guy in a pick up truck back to my car, the following day was spent not riding with the gang but riding from shop to shop to shop and back again just to get my bike converted back to a chain driven Rohloffed bike. Since that day I’m still riding with the same chain ring, cog and chain.
Belt drives – off road – Just say no……..
So, now fast forward 18 months, the bike has clocked up 3,500 miles a dozen or so bike packing trips and a fair few 50 mile+ rides, it got a Brooks Cambium saddle last 2014 and my old roadie aero bars are now a permanent feature on the original Jones Ti H Bars, I know they look stupid but on long rides or long climbs they are a godsend so they are staying.
I’ve tried Maxxis Cronicle tyres but compared to the Knards they are very draggy.
The rims have been changed to the new Stans 52mm Hugo tubless rims and the Knards have seated perfectly although glitter has been added the Stan’s liquid to help seal any hoses that Stan’s on its own can’t seal on the Knards.
And now it’s only downside, for 99.99% of my riding the Knard tyres are the best tyres in the world, they roll so well that mates have to pedal just to keep up while I’m free wheeling, but for the very few times I take this bike off the beaten track on wet roots, mud and wet rocks they slip and slide all over the place with absolutely no predictability.
Now to the bike, I’ve read as many reviews as you, all of which written by jurno’s and bike industry people. I’m not one of those I can’t tell you if it feels “Laterally stiff” “Stable” “Confident” and all that sort of nonsense.
It’s no switch back loving, downhilling, light weight race bike but what it is, is a very comfortable and capable mile muncher, great for carrying bike packing gear, amazing when you want to go long and fast off road. The 29er+ tyre size and volume at around 20psi soaks up the vibrations on gravel/forest roads even on the stock carbon rigid fork that comes with the Angus/Rudy Fat.
I’m only 5’8″ with a 31″ inside leg, this Angus is a medium sized frame fits me perfectly.
The aero bars make the bike much more comfortable over longer rides, they hold dry bags better and put my GPS in the perfect spot
Since I’ve had this bike, Michael Travers has made my his Northern Brand Ambassador and now I have 2 more Travers bikes.
A Travers Rudy 29er, Monster cross with a Lauf Trail racer fork and drop bars, now 2 x 10
And the prototype Travers Bat Fastard with 5″ wide tyres on 100mm Clown Show rims and a Lauf Carbonara fork
More info http://www.traversbikes.com/